The Old Apartment

Broke into the old apartment
Forty-two steps from the street
Crooked landing, crooked landlord.
Narrow laneway filled with crooks
This is where we used to live.

Seconds out, round two.  Four more houses down, some good, some not so good. So without further ado:

Day 2, Appointment 1.

A victorian semi. Looks good from the outside, though the front garden’s a bit overgrown. The estate agent’s a local independent and he turns up on time. Inside, the hallway immediately reminds me again of old houses full of students, though in this case besides the chipboard wallpaper, there’s little actually in common. The current owner is apparently a widow – an impression I’d already got from the pictures in the particulars. The front room is lovely, as is the dining room. Kitchen is a little messy but in decent nick. Downstairs bathroom needs refurbishing but not urgently, there’s no window that opens so there’s a little damp where water has splashed from the sink. Nothing too bad. Upstairs, the two smaller bedrooms are fine. One is only single glazed but the frame looks to be in a decent shape. The shower room’s been more recently updated, and again looks fine.

The problems? The master bedroom, where the current owner’s stripped off the old wallpaper and not got around to replacing it (helpfully showing a patch of water-damaged plaster, which I’m told was due to a burst pipe which is fixed). The other issue is location – it’s on a Red Route, meaning parking is in a side street a couple of minutes’ walk away.

Appointment 2

Unexpected super bonus appointment! The agent from appointment 1 has another house he thinks I’d like. It’s 2 bedrooms, terraced, but pristine. I meet him after lunch, and he’s not kidding, it’s very nice inside and had been well looked after. It’s a bit further from the station but who cares? The only real issue is the size – 2 bedrooms is a bit on the small side, but it’s otherwise excellent. Needs more thought. But after the unexpected super bonus appointment, we have:

Unwanted Interlude

I met the next estate agent in their offices in Sutton. They were going to show me two houses – they very nearly didn’t show me any, and it was only because neither of them were available with other agents that I didn’t walk out there and then. Apparently they really, really, want me to ditch my current mortgage broker and go with their in-house one, simply because he’d advised us to hold back on getting an AiP until absolutely necessary. Fat chance. I spend twenty minutes getting the hard sell on why the mortgage I’m considering is the wrong one (it’s quite obvious they get higher commission on certain mortgages) listening disinterestedly to the absolute wanker behind the desk who doesn’t seem to want me to get a word in edgeways, much less listen to what I have to say. Eventually he loses interest (half an hour later!) and releases me to his colleague who’s going to show me the houses. He looks barely out of school, and doesn’t exactly scream competence or experience to me. However, he takes me to:

Appointment 3

A repossessed house. It’s a lot bigger than anything we’ve seen so far – 3 bedrooms, loft conversion, “sun room” at the back, and much bigger than I was expecting. And there’s damp. Lots and lots and lots of damp. Rough reckoning tells me it’d be about £3k to fix the damp alone. The roof on the sun room needs replacing too, as does the bathroom interior in its entirety. It’s a definite “nope”, even more than the place we saw last Saturday.

Appointment 4

Another (smaller) victorian semi. Bloody well looked after, period features, nothing to do. It’s a really nice house but there’s not much to differentiate it from every other nice house I’ve seen. Might well go back for a second viewing, was that kind of place. The Astroturfed back garden was a bit strange, though, makes me wonder why it wasn’t real grass.

So – six down, three more tomorrow. If I had a favourite, it’d be the first one I saw today, I think. Not perfect but then anything that’s too perfect makes me suspicious.

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